Unlock more content like this with a Footballguys Premium Subscription.
"Footballguys is the best premium
fantasy football only site on the planet."
Matthew Berry, NBC Sports EDGE
I am just finishing up my Week 2 projections, and I'm sure many of you join me in feeling the highs and lows of our preseason viewpoints being upended. Keep in mind that one week does not a season make, and many of the most disappointing Week 1 players will end up being just fine, while some of the week's best performers will end up falling off. So take this as a very early, very reactionary, honest assessment of how I'm feeling.
Here are some players and my level of concern or panic for them. The scale goes from 1 to 10. And it's based on the worry they won't return draft value. For example, Patrick Mahomes II finishing as the QB12 would be a much a bigger worry than Trey McBride not being a top-20 fantasy tight end.
- 1 is not panicked at all.
- 10 is totally panicked.
- Kenny Pickett (7), Steelers -- The Steelers' offense looked much the same as last year, and now Diontae Johnson is injured. We may have all fallen for meaningless preseason hype.
- Daniel Jones (6), Giants -- The offensive line is horrendous, and they were far less effective last year than media hype and the Coach of the Year campaign suggested.
- Aaron Rodgers (4), Jets -- He left Monday Night Football on the first drive, and was carted to the locker room.
- Justin Fields (4), Bears -- He'll run enough to maintain some fantasy relevance, but he doesn't seem to have progressed at all as a field surveyor or passer.
- Geno Smith (4), Seahawks -- Whenever a guy we all thought was league average has a bad Week 1 following an outlier season, my radar goes up. The loss of both tackles cannot be underestimated.
- Lamar Jackson (3) Ravens -- The offense looked the same, despite Jackson's new contract and the arrival of Todd Monken.
- Jalen Hurts (2), Eagles -- New play-caller Brian Johnson had a concerning debut, but it was his first week against a strong defense.
- Joe Burrow (1), Bengals -- He got massacred in the first week last year, too, and ended up fine.
- Cam Akers (7), Rams -- Kyren Williams was better.
- Antonio Gibson (7), Commanders -- Another fumble and Brian Robinson's strong showing as a receiver don't bode well for the veteran.
- Najee Harris (5), Steelers -- A plodder on a bad offense? Yikes!
- Rachaad White (5), Buccaneers -- My worry was that we drafted him for lack of alternatives, ignoring that he's not a good player. Without Baker Mayfield's dump-offs, he's a bust.
- Khalil Herbert (5), Bears -- The Bears used all their backs, and Roschon Johnson got the goal-line score, although the game was already out of hand.
- Rhamondre Stevenson (4), Patriots -- Ezekiel Elliott played a lot, and Ty Montgomery was the third-down option.
- Dameon Pierce (4), Texans -- The Texans' offense might be so bad that there aren't many games where a workhorse running back can produce.
- Jamaal Williams (4), Saints -- You didn't draft him to be a key player, but you probably expected he'd be super useful in the first three weeks. So now what?
- Drake London (8), Falcons -- I'm not sure he's usable in the current offensive system.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster (7), Patriots -- Looks to be third or fourth in the pecking order.
- Christian Kirk (6), Jaguars -- Didn't play in 2-WR sets (Zay Jones got the role over him). If this continues, Kirk could be a huge bust, barring injuries to Jones/Ridley.
- Garrett Wilson (6), Jets -- If Rodgers misses significant time, our hopes for Wilson vaulting into elite territory are kaput. He was only WR58 in Weeks 4 through 11 last year with Zach Wilson.
- Amari Cooper (5), Browns -- Didn't run many routes and essentially split snaps and routes evenly with Elijah Moore.
- DJ Moore (5), Bears -- The Bears' offense appears moribund once again; he'll have big weeks, but the variance could be maddening.
- DeAndre Hopkins (5), Titans -- He's the alpha, but Ryan Tannehill was so ineffective that the target volume could become an albatross.
- George Pickens (4), Steelers -- Preseason hype for this vertical threat could be misdirection if the Steelers still can't—or won't—throw downfield effectively.
- Marquise Brown (4), Cardinals -- Everything hinges on whether Kyler Murray returns in October.
- Kadarius Toney (3), Chiefs -- I'd rate this higher if I hadn't already considered him a non-factor in the preseason.
- Greg Dulcich (6), Broncos -- The Adam Trautman summer vibes are real.
- Kyle Pitts (5), Falcons -- Desmond Ridder is a fantasy black hole.
- Dalton Schultz (4), Texans -- Just a guy; if you drafted him as more, you're probably disappointed.
- Chigoziem Okonkwo (3), Titans -- He scored a goose egg but played monstrous snaps.
- Dallas Goedert (1), Eagles -- He got blanked but ran 36 routes, second only to DeVonta Smith's 37. He'll be fine; he just probably won't make the breakout jump into elite territory that the beat writers projected.